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April 30, 2019

Transform through education: Rania's story

Rania is one of our students who took part in these “offline” events in Germany. Rania was a journalist and activist from Egypt.
Projects insights
Christoph Buerglen
Fundraising & Comms

As part of the H&M Foundation’s continued commitment to education, they partnered with Kiron Open Higher Education, to enable refugees to access digital learning opportunities. One of the main tenets of Kiron’s learning approach is the provision of MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses), which means students can study at their own pace online. A key obstacle to this approach, however, is providing the students with a sense of community with each other, and therefore there is a need to find even more new, innovative ways to bring the community together and generate academic and cultural discussions. As part of a collaboration, the H&M Foundation and Kiron developed a targeted project, “Building a Learning Environment for Study Success (BLESS)”. The BLESS project has a multi-pronged approach: creating study groups, making design changes, and organising seminal events that students could really engage in, such as Women’s Week.

Studying with Kiron has allowed me to prove my interest in the field of social science, which will help my application for a master’s program.

Kiron Student

Rania’s Story

One of our students who took part in these “offline” events in Germany was Rania, a journalist and activist from Egypt. Rania grew up in in the bustling city of Cairo, in a close-knit family with her sister and mother. Originally, she trained as a teacher and worked in a school for three years before switching to journalism, which she describes as happening “by accident”. “My sister was a journalist who was given a very difficult assignment by the newspaper she worked for. She came to me extremely worried and said she was too scared to do it, so I went in her place, got all the interviews I needed and came back in one piece.” That experience ignited a sense of activism in Rania and she left her education career to work as a journalist, and with local NGOs as a human rights activist.

In 2015, after she wrote in opposition to a political leader after the military coup, it became impossible for her to stay in Egypt. As a consequence, Rania came to Germany at that point as a political refugee.